An anecdote and a quotation:
From C. Stray, "Gilbert Murray: Idealism and Scholarship", pp. 10-11 in CA News 36 (June 2007) -
"Literary texts come to be seen as collections of linguistic examples - as in the case of the schoolmaster around 1900 who told his pupils, 'This term we are to study the Oedipus Tyrannus' a splendid repository of grammatical curiosities."
From A.C. Price, Homer: Iliad, Book XXI, with introduction, notes and vocabulary, Cambridge University Press, 1921: p. xlix "s. 27 ARCHAEOLOGY" -
"The Poems however ought to be read not only as literature or as a key to the many problems of classical grammar, but also as our chief evidence with regard to the condition of the Greek world a thousand years or so before the Christian era."